‘Contemptible’ thieves steal lead from Harting church annexe

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THE rector of Harting the Rev Mark Morton has hit out at “contemptible” thieves after lead was stolen from the recently opened Law Room church annexe and from the rectory.

“In stealing lead from the church annexe, they have spat in the faces of all those who have worked hard and raised money to improve local community facilities,” said Mr Morton, “They have no shame, and I hope they are caught very soon.”

He urged anyone with any information to contact police as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, I shall pray that these people see the error of their ways, and turn over a new leaf.”

When the Law Room opened in June, 2010 it was a dream come true for the previous rector, Martin Lane, whose vision had been to provide facilities fit for the 21st century.

The entire £240,000 cost was met by fund raising in the parish and donations from some 180 individuals and it was named in memory of Admiral Sir Horace and Heather Law who lived in Harting

“The thing that annoys me most,” said Mr Morton, “is not just the theft itself, it’s the fact that whoever has done this has no concept of how hard people worked. They probably feel very smug and have sold the lead for a few pounds with no thought of the sacrifices everybody made.”

The theft was discovered last week when a funeral was held in the church: “Someone came in to say rain was seeping into the Law Room and we discovered a length of lead had been removed from the roof. Because we caught it fairly early we managed to contact the builder and make it watertight. We believe the theft happened between Sunday evening and Wednesday and that the thieves were disturbed by barking dogs.”

Mr Morton said he noticed the lead missing from the canopy above the front door at the rectory on Tuesday morning.

“It must have been done in the depth of the night because my wife Sharron, daughter Esther and I have been here all the time and we have two dogs.”